The e-waste issue

- November 09, 2019

Waste is everywhere. There’s waste in our homes, laying on the streets and floating in the oceans. There’s even micro plastics in the clothes we wear, in the water we drink and in the food we eat.


E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. In the modern society, want has blinded us from need, and last generation iPhones just aren’t good enough for us (or so we think). We want to surf the technology wave faster than old laptops can. As a result, new technology is being manufactured constantly. And dumped even faster.   


50 million tonnes, and counting

In 2018, the amount of e-waste exceeded 50 million tonnes. That is equivalent to 4500 Eiffel towers. And the number  just keeps on growing. 2.5 billion people in the world own a smartphone and a big bunch buy a new one the minute the freshest model is out and throw the old ones away. Owning the latest version has become a status symbol of the tech-savvy. Mesmerized by the new models, proper control of old devices slips our minds and therefore, our hands.

Whether at work or at home, we all end up with old devices that need replacing. What happens to these old devices, however, is more important than what we do with the new ones.


Reuse to reduce

70% of emissions caused by technology come from the manufacturing of new devices. But what if we reused those devices? As the majority of emissions technology causes comes from the manufacturing phase, reusing technology helps cut technology’s CO2 emissions by 47%. An important detail to keep in mind is that the manufacturing of modern mobile devices requires materials that renew slower than the market demands, or are simply non-renewable.

In our modern society, being connected is a must. However, the mobile device industry is far from being environmentally sustainable and, unfortunately, it is not the most socially sustainable either. The industry has been shown to use child labour in questionable working conditions. While we need to be connected, we should do it in a way that inflicts the least amount of harm on the world and the humans habiting it. After all, there is no Planet B.


3stepIT has been fighting the e-waste issue for over 20 years by extending the lifecycle of laptops and mobile phones. We help organisations acquire and manage IT devices and in the end, give the devices a new life by reselling them to responsible partners.


In 2018 we resold 429,394 devices. Each resold device displaces the manufacture of a new device.  We help organisations become more sustainable by making their IT more sustainable. We help the world by taking care of technology. Learn about our Technology Lifecycle Management.

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